Best Bulb for the Buck

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Astray
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Best Bulb for the Buck

Hello there,

I recently moved into a new condo and have some lighting needs I need to tackle. I only just found about CRI and higher quality light bulbs and of course I ran into a whole bunch of information I was not prepared to completely digest on my own and was hoping to get some recommendations as a result.

Most of the fixtures use A19 E26 style bulbs (quantity 30 ranging from 40-60W equivalent) though the kitchen lighting uses MR16 GU 5.3 track lights (4 of them).

Since I'll be replacing so many of them I'm very interested in the best cheap bulbs I can get. I usually like to get daylight bulbs in the 5000k range but I was told the R9 value suffers if you go to 5000k instead of 4000k. 

Would also like more education on color temperature and what's more appropriate for the room/situation since I've usually just gone full cheap daylight for most of my lighting needs.

Thank you!

Edited by: Astray on 08/12/2021 - 19:14
raccoon city
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Make yourself at home, Astray!

I don't know if they're what you're looking for, but I get my light bulbs from Dollar Tree.

Despite only costing a dollar, they're quite nice.

105_milla

lfb
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It’s kind hard to find good quality and cheap bulbs. sunlikelamp.com makes great ones, but they are expensive.
It’s plenty possible to achieve high r9 with cooler CCT.
The best quality for the buck you can get it’s using led strips in my opinion. Auxmer sells good ones on Aliexpress and they can provide colorimetric charts if you ask them.
For CCT I prefer 5000k during the day and 4000k or lower for night time. But for working ambience 5000k it’s ok during night time. The best way is to go with variable cct.

Bort
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I don’t know what kind of bulbs you get at big box stores in the USA but standard LED bulbs are great, they are not that expensive anymore, 80CRI is adequate for most tasks and LED bulbs save on electricity, paying for themselves pretty quick.
Just make sure if you have fully enclosed fixtures (no air openings) that you get a bulb rated for it.

I personally like Feit 100W equivalents at 3000K.

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dthrckt
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I can’t say I’ve researched it a lot, but I have purchased about 60+ phillips bulbs and I happen to have gotten a camelcamelcamel alert today.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HC7BHRS

I’m sure someone will think I’m nuts, but I mix these w/ the phillips 5000k in my garage, barn, basement, bathroom and kitchen because I prefer the result to just warm or just NW.

lfb
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The last Philips bulbs that I’ve got had pretty bad flickering. Fortunately, it was easy to solve adding a bigger capacitor.
This must have been solved since they got this “EyeComfort” seal. It’s like creating a problem to sell the solution.

Astray
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Most of the cheaper bulbs in the US, particularly on Amazon, fall into the 80 CRI range. I was hoping for something reasonably priced in the 90+ CRI range that is dimmable as well. Unfortunately none of the results I’ve found on Amazon have been tested even at all besides the Ascher Vintage Edison classic and it wasn’t even fully tested nor is it dimmable but the price is pretty fair for a decent quality bulb so imagine their other offerings are at least similar quality.

Definitely don’t want to deal with strips and the kitchen lights are probably the most important to be of good quality CRI, at least until I have some kind of recessed lighting under the cabinets.

Scotty321
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I can't vouch for the the credibility of the article, but the NYTimes has an article that mentions decent CRI and price. Additionally, these bulbs are available at HD.

https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-led-lightbulb/

h2o
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Astray wrote:
Most of the cheaper bulbs in the US, particularly on Amazon, fall into the 80 CRI range. I was hoping for something reasonably priced in the 90+ CRI range that is dimmable as well. Unfortunately none of the results I’ve found on Amazon have been tested even at all besides the Ascher Vintage Edison classic and it wasn’t even fully tested nor is it dimmable but the price is pretty fair for a decent quality bulb so imagine their other offerings are at least similar quality.

Definitely don’t want to deal with strips and the kitchen lights are probably the most important to be of good quality CRI, at least until I have some kind of recessed lighting under the cabinets.


Go to home depot. They have many that are 90+ CRI. This is to follow EPA guidelines. Not much chatter about this; even HD doesn’t promote or make easy to find. One way is to toggle Energy Star in searches. However, they have more than will come up. The other cheat is if you choose California option, as they have variants of SKUs for CA that are >+90CRI

i.e.

NeutralFan
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Welcome to BLF Astray!

If you’re a member of Costco, just buy theirs. Over the years I’ve had good luck with them. They now have Feit 90+ CRI 60 watt equivalent bulbs that look just like the old glass incandescent bulbs. And they dim the same with normal dimmer switches.

Personally I like the soft white 2700K bulbs around the house.

I’d rather use my flashlight around the house than turn on the lights.

Astray
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Thank you all for the last suggestions, those are perfect for what I’m looking for!